Martin Hamilton from Kew's UK Overseas Territories team reports on the latest news about the UKOTs Programme 2010 Internships.
The UKOTs Programme offers internships annually. The successful 2010 candidates were Ji Luo Francis, Natalia de la Torre and Luc Clerveaux (a Turks and Caicos Islander - one of the UKOTs - currently studying in the UK).
One of the major tasks that the interns undertook was specimen digitisation. This involves scanning historic herbarium specimens and recording specimen label data into the Plants of UK Overseas Territories Database. The specimen data are being added to the UKOTs on-line Herbariumto enable access to the Kew collections from the UK Overseas Territories. Interns also undertake research on key species from the Overseas Territories.
Ji Luo Francis and Natalia de la Torre working on herbarium specimens (Image: RBG Kew)
Natalia tells us about her experience:
“This internship has been a fantastic experience. Working in one of the most important and biggest botanical gardens in the world and being surrounded by millions of plant specimens every day has made me realise how important it is to try to protect and preserve habitats and ecosystems. After six months here I now have clear that this is what I want to keep doing.”
Sara Barrios from the UKOTs team at Kew adds:
" Ji, Natalia and Luc gave a great contribution to our team this year. All specimens from the Pitcairn Islands, Gibraltar and the Turks and Caicos Islands are now almost fully digitised."
The 2011 UKOTs internships will be advertised in the early new year. Details will be posted on the Kew website.
- Martin -
UKOTs bloggers (left to right): Sara Bárrios, Pat Griggs, Colin Clubbe, Marcella Corcoran, Tom Heller, Martin Hamilton.
Using modern plant specimens collected in the field and historic specimens held in Kew’s Herbarium, together with detailed habitat descriptions and other field information, we are documenting the plant diversity of the UKOTs. We are making this information accessible via the UKOTs Online Herbarium. This resource, together with the field research, enables us to undertake conservation assessments, produce Red Lists of threatened species, and rank potentially invasive species – all of which underpin the development of management plans to protect the UKOTs’ plant heritage.
The UKOTs bloggers are:
- Colin Clubbe (Head of UKOTs and Conservation Training)
- Martin Hamilton (UKOTs Programme Co-ordinator)
- Marcella Corcoran (UKOTs Programme Officer – Horticultural Liaison)
- Sara Bárrios (UKOTs Programme Officer – GSPC Targets 1&2 OTEP Project)
- Pat Griggs (UKOTs Public Engagement Officer)
- Tom Heller (UKOTs Millennium Seed Bank Officer)
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